Monetary thought in Islamic and Christian scholars (13th-16th century): a comparative perspective on debasement and the rise of the quantity theory of money
Title: Monetary thought in Islamic and Christian scholars (13th-16th century): a comparative perspective on debasement and the rise of the quantity theory of money
Author: OROZCO DE LA TORRE, Olivia
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2008
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This study examines conceptions about money, its value, and management in the works of Islamic and Christian scholars in the late medieval and early modern Mediterranean from a comparative perspective. By including both Islamic and Christian scholars, while also examining particular cases of monetary management, its main contribution is to offer a more comprehensive view of the process of conceptual change in relation to money that developed in the late middle ages. The main objectives are to compare developments in monetary thinking in different contexts and cultural traditions, to detect changing patterns in the conceptualisation of money, assess their relevance for the history of monetary conceptions and give an account of how such conceptual changes took place. The focus is on a concrete set of issues considered crucial to the emergence of monetary thought and of the quantity theory of money: the nature of money; what (and who) defines its value and how; and what are the factors that affect the value of money (quantity of metal, its relation to prices and the purchasing power of money). Thus, the first part of the dissertation provides an overview of how money and its value were conceived in the medieval Mediterranean. It outlines the roots of a common Aristotelian commentary tradition and accounts for the elaboration of different discourses about the relationship between law, money and political authorities in relation to the debasement of money. The second part of the study explores the impact that dramatic increases in the supply of certain metals had on the conceptualisation of money, prices and understandings of the relationship between them. It examines proposals for monetary management arising in contexts of small change inflation in Florence and Cairo, and compares them with the emergence of the quantity theory in the context of the price revolution of the 16th century. The monetary proposals of an Egyptian scholar, al-Maqrizi, at the beginning of the 15th century deserve particular attention in this respect.
Subject: Monetary policy; History
LC Subject Heading: Monetary policy -- History; Muslim scholars; Scholars
Defence date: 27/06/2008; Examining Board: Prof. Bartolomé Yun Casalilla (European University Institute) - supervisor Prof. Yassine Essid (Université de Tunis 1) - co-supervisor Prof. Martin van Gelderen (European University Institute) Prof. Luis Perdices de Blas (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
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